BAM! (that was the sound of my kung fu chop)
I bought this pattern an aaaaaage ago when it was first released, however, had not found the perfect fabric for it. But this Japanese cotton? Perfection! Imagine my horror when I finally got it to the counter (after dragging the bolt around the shop for 30 minutes because I was paranoid someone else would find it) and there was only 2 metres left. GAH! This fabric was destined to become an Elisalex, dang it! It would be wrong to turn it into anything else! So I grabbed the two metres of the print, and some black drill, and headed home determined to make it work. After establishing pretty quickly the tulip skirt was out I grabbed my most epic Simplicity 2154 pencil skirt pattern and very carefully placed all the pieces. And even managed to pattern match some of the seams pretty well...
Like. A. Boss.
The bodice went together easily and I have to admit that I am now a mite bit obsessed with princess seams. Such a lovely silhouette and easy to do. Pretty + lazy = happy Amanda. I added an inch of length to the bodice after my muslin so it would end on my natural waistline. I also modified the width of the top of the shoulder. When I made the muslin I found the seam line was sitting past my shoulder bone and looked quite odd so I took this in 8mm on both sides and used a French curve to smooth this out into the existing pattern piece.
This frock was also my first attempt at using my invisible hem foot. Probably not the best choice due to the two tone fabric. But, whatevs. This lady lives on the edge. This turned out pretty well though I must admit I will be handstitching my next version of Elisalex.
Another new skill I tried with this sassy number was to have an exposed zipper. Yup. I'm living in 2010 and I'm loving it! I was the very happy recipient of a gifted Riri zipper by the always hilarious and lovely Charlotte over at Seam Ripped. These zippers are like nothing else. Seriously. It is like a group of unicorns got together with some highly skilled metal smithing kittens and forged a zip of extreme wonder and loveliness. I've been waiting for the perfect project to showcase this loveliness since January and I love the finished effect. Yay for zippers!
What I loved about this pattern:
- How well laid out the pattern and booklet is. I'm a lady who likes straight forward and clearly illustrated instructions. And that is what I got. It felt like the BHL team was there with me sewing. Which is nice. Normally it feels like me, a glass of red and some off key singing so the imagined company was a lovely change!
- The princess seams on the bodice. This is my first time in princess seam land and am loving it. I am totes a princess now with the seams to prove it! bwah ha ha!
- Take a chunk out of the armsyce at the front. As I wear this I've noticed a bit of roominess there I will take out.
- Try a pleated skirt. I am seriously crushing on this bodice so hard- I want to make a bunch of these with pleated skirts in some fun prints for work dresses.
- Master the exposed zip. It is too sassy not to show off properly!
Overall, I love this dress and it is totally on the make again list! I have so very many plans for additional versions though the urge to make a black Victoria Blazer to go with it is growing. Curse you, By Hand London, and your well designed patterns!
Now if you will excuse me, it's time to rock out in my lady frock like a boss...